Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in burgage holders
Number of voters:
217 in 1752
|28 Jan. 1715||JOHN FORTESCUE ALAND|
|WILLIAM WOODWARD KNIGHT|
|14 Jan. 1716||ALAND re-elected after appointment to office|
|27 Feb. 1717||ALAN BRODRICK, Baron Midleton, vice Aland, appointed to office|
|6 Nov. 1721||SIR RICHARD MILL vice Knight, deceased|
|20 Mar. 1722||ALLAN BRODRICK, Visct. Midleton|
|16 Aug. 1727||BULSTRODE PEACHEY KNIGHT|
|ALAN BRODRICK, Visct. Midleton|
|1 Feb. 1729||SIR RICHARD MILL vice Midleton, deceased|
|25 Apr. 1734||BULSTRODE PEACHEY KNIGHT|
|2 Feb. 1736||SIR HENRY PEACHEY vice Knight, deceased|
|3 Feb. 1738||SIR JOHN PEACHEY vice Sir Henry Peachey, deceased|
|5 May 1741||SIR JOHN PEACHEY|
|23 Apr. 1744||SIR JOHN PEACHEY vice Sir John Peachey, deceased|
|29 June 1747||SIR JOHN PEACHEY|
|SIR THOMAS BOOTLE|
|25 Jan. 1754||JOHN SARGENT vice Bootle, deceased|
In 1715 the chief interest at Midhurst was in the Viscounts Montagu, the lords of the manor, Roman Catholics, who at this time took no active part in elections. The borough was controlled by the Duke of Somerset, and, successively, by William Woodward and Bulstrode Peachey, who both took the name of Knight on their marriage to Elizabeth Knight, an heiress owning the neighbouring manor of West Dean. The Duke and Bulstrode Peachey each purchased burgages from the 6th Viscount Montagu, undertaking ‘to assist each other’s interest upon all occasions should either be attacked’1 Elizabeth Knight died in 1738, leaving her estates to Thomas May, who exchanged West Dean for two Hampshire manors belonging to the Peacheys, a transaction ratified by an Act of Parliament in 1745.2 The Peacheys, opposition Whigs, continued to share control with the Duke of Somerset, also in opposition, till his death in 1748, when Lord Montagu, encouraged by Henry Pelham,3 decided to reassert his interest. He reckoned this at 145 burgages, including those of 41 independent supporters, compared with Sir John Peachey’s 40 and Sir Thomas Bootle’s 17, bequeathed to him by the Duke of Somerset, with 15 independents in their interest. He undertook to Newcastle that,
whatever two persons you are pleased to name, excepting the Peacheys, they shall have my interest at Midhurst.4
On Bootle’s death Montagu replaced him by John Sargent, recommended by Pelham.5
Author: J. B. Lawson
- 1. A. A. Dibben, Cowdray Archives, i. p. xxii; Somerset to Duke of Richmond, 25 Nov. 1734, Richmond mss.
- 2. VCH Hants, ii. 513-14; iv. 424.
- 3. Montagu to Newcastle, 6 July 1760, Add. 32908, f. 112.
- 4. Montagu to Newcastle, 15 Jan. 1752, Add. 32726, ff. 48, 50; PCC 379 Strahan.
- 5. Sir John Peachey to Newcastle, 28 June 1754, Add. 32735, f. 593.